By Mary Karr

Art is a skill in performance acquired through experience, study, and observation.  From there one goes forward to produce by design something esthetically beautiful to the senses.  Art arises in the human spirit beyond the reach of words, from the levels of deepest memories.

“I strove with none, for none was worth my strive.

Nature I loved, and next to nature, art.

I warmed both hands before the fire of life.

It sticks, and I am ready to depart.”

Walter Savage Landar

The arts of many ancient and primitive peoples have been brought into our museums and galleries and homes and have become part of our minds.  The real artist, whether painting a picture, photographing, molding a piece of pottery or writing a poem, does not think of a possible sale, only of the need to make a beautiful living object.  It becomes an absorbing passion.  The author, Henry James, has written it well when he says, “It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.”

There is now the opportunity to enjoy another unique form of art in a special exhibit at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.  Not to be missed is the “Chihuly at Biltmore” exhibit.  It took many weeks to install the 16 large-scale glass sculptures in and around the house and grounds.  It took four years of planning and many people to prepare for this show which will be open to the public through October 7th.  Unlike shows housed indoors “Chihuly at Biltmore” is a living exhibition that will evolve as the plants surrounding many of the artworks grow and flower.  Based in Seattle a team of glass blowers, engineers and other craftsmen have created exhibitions around the world, in city parks and botanical gardens in London, Chicago, the Netherlands, Naples and New York.  How fortunate we are to be able to view Dale Chihuly’s work close to home. This display will never be shown together again, so don’t miss it!  If you are interested in seeing the show at night when the glass is lit in the gardens advance reservations are recommended.  Ask for the evening viewing of the lighted sculptures, called, “Chihuly Nights at Biltmore”.  visitbiltmore.com or call 800-411-3812.

Lake Lure seems to attract painters and craftsmen.  Perhaps it is the quality of light, the expanse of the sky, and the vistas of the mountains and water that attracts.  Our wonderful group is made up of writers, painters, potters, sculptors, and photographers, and we are drawn together by our common love of art.